Who? The Weeknd?! The Weeknd?!
That’s right! Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) is creating another universe, this time through a full-length television series! No stranger to complex music and visual storylines via his albums (After Hours and Dawn FM), The Weeknd’s upcoming television series will be a collaboration with Sam Levinson (Euphoria). Tesfaye has also recruited longtime creative producer Reza Fahim.
Reviewing The Weeknd’s Credentials
A cinephile of sorts, Tesfaye has littered his music with countless references and easter eggs. The most apparent being the namesake of his 2020 album, an homage to Martin Scorsese’s 1985 After Hours cult classic. Check out these other cult classic’s and how they’ve fared over time! Among Scorsese, Tesfaye has openly credited David Lynch (Twin Peaks), David Cronenberg (Shivers), and Stanley Kubrick (The Shining) as muses.
The Weeknd made his acting debut in A24’s 2019 crime thriller Uncut Gems. The actor played himself at an earlier chapter of his musical career. While the role was limited to a few nightclub scenes, Tesfaye displayed stellar charisma to warrant further acting exploration.
Along with starring in a Saturday Night Live skit next to Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd, Tesfaye has also had voice acting roles in episodes of The Simpsons and American Dad!
The Run Down
Apart from being a co-writer and producer, Tesfaye will co-star alongside Lily-Rose Depp and Troye Sivan. The official trailer shows Tesfaye’s character as a nightclub owner with seemingly shady intentions. The Idol’s premise is “set against the backdrop of the music industry”. It centers on the leader of a “modern-day cult” and his relationship with a growing pop idol played by Depp.
The trailer provides a glimpse into the sleazy landscape of Hollywood fame and all the superficial love that lurks. Undoubtedly sex, drugs, and money permeate the landscape. Tesfaye and Depp share a brief interaction on screen. He asks, “Do you trust me?”. Depp dubiously replies: “Not really.”
Alongside the trio, Suzanna Son, Steve Zissis, Rachel Sennot, and Hari Nef will join the main cast in supporting roles. The late Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco, Volcano) will also make one of her final on-screen performances.
When And The Where of The Idol
While the series has seen its fair share of rework, producers confirmed a November premiere. Promising to “evolve their vision“, the creative team is in the final stages of post-production with a newly refined direction.
The Idol will stream exclusively on HBO/HBO Max. Details of the rollout and episode frequency are unclear for the time being. What do you hope The Weeknd brings to the television series? Perhaps some original music tracks? The world could always use more of his music!